Thursday, 29 May 2014

A to Z Book Survey

I adore book surveys, they're just something fun to do to fill up some spare time. When I saw this one, I instantly wanted to do it, so here it is! This survey is from 2013 I believe but hey, let's do it anyway.
Please do it on your own blog too and leave the link to your post in the comments so I can read it, I'd love to see other people doing this:)

Author you've read the most books from:
Definitely Kate Perry. I've read most of her Laurel Height's series and I always love the next one just a little more than the last. Her writing flows so beautifully and I fall in love with every one of her books that I read!

Best sequel ever:
Reasonable Doubt Volume 2... Now, I'm not sure if that counts as a sequel per se but considering the book has been split into three separate parts I'll count them as singles. So yeah, I loved Reasonable Doubt V1 and V2, smoking hot sex scenes and I found myself giggling at some of the things Andrew would say. He's a complete asshole, but those times that his sweet side showed were worth the wait.

Currently reading:
Lost and Found by Nicole Williams. It's bad girl meets good boy which I don't usually get to read cause it's always the other way around. I'm loving it so far, it's about cowboys with jeans so tight one wrong move could bust a seam and it's also about the female protagonist finding herself but cowboys are the main thing I like to focus on... Absolutely no shame.

Drink of choice while reading:
Tea preferably but I also tend to drink coke or water when I'm feeling too lazy to wait for the kettle to boil.

E-reader or physical book:
EASY - Physical books all the damn way! There is nothing better than curling up in the corner of my bed, swinging my legs over the frame and losing myself in a book with real pages and that smell. You know what I'm talking about, don't pretend you don't smell the inside of books too...

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school:
Stiles Stiles Stiles! Oh he is so adorable, I can use a fictional character out of a TV show right? He's still fictional is he not? Maybe it's just Dylan O'Brien that I like though...

I'd probably have dated Jesse from the book I'm reading now cause oh my goodness he is a sweetheart with a killer personality and looks to match. That just doesn't happen in the real world! Also Jace Wayland... because bad boys are my ultimate weakness and I mean come on, he stole a motorcycle that runs on demon energies and basically flew it over a body of water. Don't judge me.

Glad you gave this book a chance:
If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I put it off for so long because I didn't want to be reduced to a sobbing mess on my bedroom floor but one day, I saw the trailer for the movie which comes out in August (yay!) and told myself to grow a pair and read the goddamn book. So I did, and it was fantastic and it took me a couple of days *cough* weeks *cough* to get over it. I cried... a lot. BUT THE MOVIE LOOKS SO GOOD. I'm glad I finally read it.

Hidden gem book:
The House At Riverton by Kate Morton. I loved this book so much, it was the first historical romance I'd ever read and I'd actually sit down in the same spot for hours completely lost in it's pages. Go to Goodreads RIGHT NOW and read the synopsis, because I assure you, it is a fantabulous book. And I don't use the word fantabulous lightly, okay?

Important moment in your reading life:
"I realise now that dying is easy. Living is hard." - If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Holy wow did that one line give me a lot to think about. It's so, so true.

Just finished:
Reasonable Doubt Volume 2 which was really good! The storyline was okay but Andrew made this book amazing with his words that made me swoon and his banter throughout the book. He is a cocky asshole but I loved him, now waiting to get my hands on part 3!

Kinds of books you won't read:
Horror doesn't interest me and I will never read books about child abuse/rape. Fiction or not. Never.

Longest book you've read:
The House At Riverton, but I'm not 100% sure about that one.

Major book hangover because of:
Reasonable Doubt V3 doesn't even have a release date or a front cover yet and I just don't know why! The last part left quite a cliffhanger and I neeeeed to know what happens next, I AM NOT A PATIENT PERSON!!

Number of bookcases you own:
Two which are relatively full... I'd love to just have bookcases as walls in my room. One day maybe.

One book you've read multiple times:
Beautiful Disaster - I love that book so much. I can't wait to get a physical copy, I only have it on iBooks at the moment and I just can't read it enough! BEAUTIFUL OBLIVION IS OUT SOON AHHH.

Preferred place to read:
My bed is in the corner of my room and in that corner is a mass of pillows and blankets. There is nothing better to me than laying there with a book and a cup of tea and losing myself in the story for a couple of hours until my arms ache from holding it up! 

Quote that inspires you:
"I realise now that dying is easy. Living is hard." *shivers* I'm pretty sure this is the third time I've mentioned If I Stay by Gayle Forman but who cares, that book did one helluva number of me and I don't think I'm over it yet.

Reading regret:
Hmmmm, I don't think I have any regrets here. I do wish I owned more physical books opposed to ebooks but... does that count as a regret?

Series you started and need to finish:
The Mortal Instruments. I was so excited to get to the third book but then I just stopped reading them because there were other books I wanted to read more. I guess I got a little exhausted with the umming and ahhing when it comes to the mess that is Jace and Clary's relationship. Jace's mood swings were giving me whiplash.

Three of your all-time favourite books:
The House At Riverton by Kate Morton (my first historical romance aw), Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout and The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I did not like the whole Twilight hype and it completely put me off Meyer's books for a while but then I was given The Host. Now this was back when I was just starting my book hoarding obsession and I didn't have many to choose from and I also wasn't familiar with eBooks yet, so I picked up The Host after ploughing through all my other new books and gave it a read. I read it in 3 days which was incredibly fast back then... it is nothing like the Twilight series. I loved the whole idea, it was pretty incredible, I thought, how an author can make up a whole new species or a new concept like alien parasites taking over human bodies, keeping their memories and living in a civilized world where nothing bad ever happens, no one is violent, there's no illness and THEY DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR FOOD. What a world.
Anyways, that book but Meyer's back on my to-read list! Although I'm still not over how much I loathe Twilight. Eck.

Unapologetic fangirl for:
Sexy cowboys... Absolutely no shame. Oh and bad boys who ride motorcycles and have tattoos but once in a while, they show a sweet side to themselves. *sigh*

Very excited for this release more than others:
Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire! Eeeeeeee, it's coming so soon.

Worst bookish habit: 
Buying more books than I can read... Then buying more books before I've read the ones I bought the last time. I have little shame though.

X marks the spot - Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore. I haven't read that book yet though so if you have, is it any good?

Your latest book purchase:
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks which I am super excited to read!

Zzz-snatcher book - Last book that kept you up SUPER late:
I'd say it was Reasonable Doubt V2 which I have mentioned a hundred and one times in this post and I'll keep mentioning it until you go and read it.

That's it! Please feel free to follow me using any of my social media:)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Book Review: Unexpected Treasure by Melody Anne

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Andersons are back in this exciting new line of the bestselling series everyone is talking about. In this new series, you will meet Richard Storm and his five children, and the circumstances that ripped him away from his brothers, Joseph and George Anderson. See how they finally meet. The bonds of an Anderson bloodline are too strong to keep their family apart forever.

Richard Storm is saddened that his children are throwing away their lives, and offers them an ultimatum. They have two years to take a failing business and make it a success or they lose their trust funds, and are on their own. His stubborn children think he’s gone insane, but they don’t know the powerful secret that can knock them to their knees and tear their family apart. Will they come together as they should, or will self-centeredness consume their hearts, ripping their family apart forever?

Crew Storm opens an exclusive resort in the Catalina Islands off the coast of California, and pride swells within him as he accomplishes the impossible. Everything is going on track until a blond steps into his life and begs him to teach her how to be the perfect seductress after she researches his technique of charming and luring women to his bedroom.

Haley Sutherland is done with her fears, done being a wallflower and done being invisible. She comes up with a brilliant idea to find the perfect person to teach her how to seduce the man she truly wants. Though, the person she’s chosen to be her teacher is Crew Storm, soon she finds she’s forgetting her first love’s name.

This story will take you on a journey through the heart as Crew teaches Haley more than she ever imagined, and finds himself gaining more than he thought he needed.

Reunite with the Andersons as they discover new relatives and meet this new branch in the Anderson line. Will love truly conquer all, or will stubbornness make them lose everything they never knew they had.

The reason these books exist are because of a dream. That dream was recounted to Melody Anne from Cindy Flory and was then used to make the next books of this series. So, I think I owe Cindy Flory a thank you!

At the beginning of this book Haley was shy, indecisive and completely insecure in her own skin due to years of being put down by her grandparents who had no choice but to raise her. After doing the unthinkable and approaching a handsome man with a crazy proposal, Haley is whisked into a whirlwind of seductress lessons, finding her inner woman and unbelievable sex. Lucky her! I even found myself swooning at some of the things Crew would say, sheesh my heart almost went into overdrive.

Crew, pre ultimatum, was entitled, spoiled and just like his brothers and sister, a first class a-hole with money to burn. Two years later, when the book takes place, he is now a man who prides himself on his hard-earned success and all the hard work seems to have humbled him greatly.

I found it easy to like Haley and Crew as characters, Melody Anne did a great job of making them seem real and although their story isn't entirely original (what story is nowadays?!) the circumstances surrounding their relationship's beginning was new for me. I simply adored all of the other characters such as the bartender (whose name has completely left me), Richard Storm and his new-found brothers, George and Joseph. They were all so lovable and I found myself smiling when they all bantered together.

This was a quick, fun read with well-built characters and a lot of reality. I definitely recommend it although I do advise you to be atleast 17 due to this book having quite a bit of sex - I mean come on, it's about a gorgeous, wealthy man giving seductress lessons to an inexperienced woman. There's gonna be some sexual situations! There were no swear words - well none that I can remember anyways.

When I got this eBook it was FREE from iBooks, I'm not sure if that's still the case but you should read it anyway! So... Get reading!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Book Review: Teardrop by Lauren Kate

Format: Hardcover
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Eureka (yes, that's the protagonists name) has closed herself off completely from everyone who she once loved. Ever since her mother died in a freak accident, Eureka has been stoic, depressed and suicidal enough to try and take her own life. She wants to escape but there's someone who is keeping her close, the boy whose watched her grow up, he knows her fears, insecurities, desires and motivations yet the first time she sees him is when he rear ends her car. Little does she know that keeping him around will unlock her destiny. There's just one problem; Eureka's best friend has been possessed by a man willing to kill anyone in his way to annihilating the human world.

Oh the drama in this book.

First of all, when I got given this book I was excited to try it out. The idea of a mystery boy and the myth of Atlantis was all I needed. Whilst there were many amazing things about this book, there's always room for improvement.

It was definitely the prologue that made me read on, you get those books where the story doesn't start until your half way through the damn thing but the prologue was all it took to suck me in. As I said, I liked the plot of this book and the story it followed definitely did not let me down! The cover of this book is another thing I adore. It's incredibly beautiful with its 3D textured title and the girl with a dress of azure water. One of the best covers I've ever seen if I'm honest.
Lauren Kate had a knack for creating such gorgeous, vivid images with her descriptions of the characters and especially the bayou and the environment in which the story was taking place and for that I applaud her.
There were quiet a few loose ends in this story even as I was reaching the last quarter of it but I didn't mind. There were just enough to keep me interested but not so many that I got confused.

Ok, now for the bits I wasn't so thrilled about; the names. My goodness! Props to Kate for thinking up all those names. I mean I understand the Atlanteans having unique names but for the others? Rhoda, Brooks, Madame Blavatsky, Eureka and Ander!? I think the only people in Teardrop with normal names are the twins and Eureka's mum.
Another thing about the characters that I didn't like was the lack of development from any of the characters unless you count Brooks' infuriating mood swings which were harder to keep up with than Usain Bolt in a hundred meter sprint!
Next is that although Eureka hates when anyone reminds her of her mother's death or the circumstances around it etc, she constantly wants to drown stuff... To me, if my mother had died due to drowning I don't think I'd wish it upon everything I hated. It just seemed a little strange and contradictory.
Last of all is the total lack of connection I felt between me and the protagonist. I just couldn't relate to her no matter how much I tried, nor could I with any of the other characters. I love the guys who make me melt just reading about them but Ander didn't do that for me apart from the scene in Eureka's bedroom when she learns about everything.

In conclusion, I do recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and wants a book to fill some spare time. I'm looking forward to the second part in this series, I just hope it sticks with me a little better than this one did.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Book Review: Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Format: Ebook
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

'Long awaited' is right! My goodness I've never been kept waiting that long for an inevitable kiss to happen! But you know what? It was well worth the wait.

I loved pretty much everything about this book. The cover was what got me interested in the first place, the one on the right was the one I saw on Goodreads and thank god I clicked on it. I put it on my 'to-read' list immediately after reading the synopsis but pushed it back. Then, when my Amazon order messed up and I didn't get the books I was waiting for I took to iBooks to look for something to read in the mean time. Imagine my surprise when I saw Anna and the French Kiss was available for FREE download! So, I thought to myself 'ah what the hell' and downloaded it. This is the one and ONLY time I will thank Amazon for screwing up because what I read in the next couple of days was an emotion packed adventure.

First of all, the characters; it was so so easy for me to relate to Anna and her internal monologues, her mannerisms and I eventually found myself feeling what she felt. I mean I was genuinely angry, sad, happy and excited when she was. Oh and I was also hopelessly in love with St. Clair by the end, I was sad when the story ended but happy for Anna all at the same time. My poor heart.
For an author to be able to create such a strong connection between the reader and the protagonist is a skill some should learn to use but Stephanie Perkins need not worry. You met my expectations and then proceeded to give me more and for that I applaud you!

There was a good mix of humor and drama for this genre of writing. I like romcom books simply because, whilst there are a lot of drama/thriller/mystery orientated books, romcoms have a way of removing you from your own reality and into a character's world. I was giggling all the way through this book and smiling to myself like an idiot.

"Josh rubs his belly like a skinny Buddha."

"Oh god. What. Is with. The scary enthusiasm?"

"Cheeseburger is always wearing this expression of surprise, like someone's just called his name and he can't figure out where the voice is coming from."

"It's Victor's ghost, wanting to know why you wont touch him. Woooooooo, stroke me, St. Clair."

That last bit of speech made me laugh uncontrollably! Of course all of the quotes there are better if you know the context of them and I urge you to go and read the book to understand the delightful humor this story offers.

I found it incredibly easy to see a bit of myself in Anna. For example;

"...she's smiling now. It's a good look for her. She should utilize the corners of her mouth more often."
""It's okay. It's not my business. My friends fight, too. I mean...  my friends back home. Not that you guys aren't my friends. I'm just saying... all friends fight." Argh how distressing."

Like Anna, I too have foot-in-mouth syndrome and can barely control it especially in awkward and uncomfortable situations. Anna's inner dialogue just seems a lot like my own and whether that's a personal thing or not, I still enjoyed the connection and the familiarity.

At first, I didn't like the fact that Anna constantly moaned about being sent to Paris for school. I just kept thinking, "Girl, you are in PARIS! Lighten up, you are in the city of romance and home to the most beautiful buildings in the world!" But then, as the plot went on, Anna's character showed more and more signs of development. Towards the end of the book I understood that in order for any character development to happen, the author had to make Anna seem a little bratty and unappreciative so that in the end, she realized how lucky she was and everything her dad did was for her own good. If her dad hadn't of sent her to boarding school in Paris she'd still be waiting for Toph and numerous other things she didn't resolve until she moved away. She'd never have met St. Clair and that would be an awfully big missed opportunity.

So, I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is 12+ due to a small number of bad words that are thrown around in the second half of the book. (Slut, fu**ing) But other than that it's a very enjoyable read and something that can be read as a distraction from everything else. Immerse yourself in the world of Anna Oliphant (Banana Elephant *wink wink*) and learn a few French words as you go along!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman


Format: Ebook
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says."

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Oh my heart still hurts from this one! I don't usually start reviews with talking about the ending but OH MY GOODNESS. I was a mess reading that last line, sobbing uncontrollably at 11PM on a Saturday night. Yep.

So, let's now move back to the beginning.
This story gripped me from that very first line: "Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true."
Now, the blurb for If I Stay doesn't reveal too much, it just mentions choices and love so when I read the first line I instantly wanted to know what Mia was talking about. What did the snow do? I had my suspicions from reading reviews on Goodreads and I knew the plot was based on Mia losing something. Nevertheless, in no way was I prepared for the emotional onslaught reading this short book gave me.

The chapters were not marked in the usual way and instead, time stamps were used and everytime I got to a new part I'd stop and think about what Mia was narrating. I did this because it gave me a lot to think about and I remember half way through this book something that Mia said hit me so hard that I cried for a long while. 

“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”

I could fill an entire page with the quotes taken from this book because every single line was indescribably beautiful and so powerful. I have come to love Gayle Forman's writing. She was easily able to transition from Mia's out-of-body experience to the flashbacks and it wasn't choppy at all. It flowed well and gave me a helluva lot to think about. This is one of those books that will stick with me for a very long time!

I know this is highly irregular but I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this book. The cover was simplistic yet lovely, the writing was incrediblely amazing, the feelings I got were overwhelming in the best way possible and the characters were incredibly endearing and I found it easy to feel what Mia felt and my heart broke for her, for everyone actually. All of her family, Adam, Kim and when the flashbacks came and Mia was remembering precious memories, I became a blubbering mess.

She had a choice, which was the main point of this storyline. I wont tell you what the choice is because it's not hinted at in the blurb and I want you to go through the experience the way I did: knowing next to nothing. I could not even begin to imagine having that kind of choice to make, with everything that happened I don't know if I'd have been as brave as Mia was or as clear-headed. I understand she's a fictional character but still, the writing was so perfect it felt real and all those raw emotions were real too.

So, I am 100% advising every single one of you who has not read this book to GO NOW to your local bookstore, library, amazon, bookoutlet etcetc and buy this. I know you wont regret it. I thought I wouldn't like it due to the hype surrounding this book even after almost 4 years but I adored it and it made it's way to my favourites. 

OH and good news for all the fans of If I Stay: There will be a movie!!! August 22nd I believe, the trailer (which I have obsessively watched a billion and one times) is on my 'Books To Movies' tab so go ahead and take a look. Then tweet me and fangirl with me! It looks amazing, so close to the book and the song (Say Something) was just made for this story. Chloe Mortez looks the part, as do Adam and Mia's parents and I just can't wait. It doesn't look like it'll be a disappointment but I'll be sure to do a review when I've seen it.

Okay, please follow me on google+ (as a way of being able to see all my new updates on here), Twitter and Goodreads which are all linked to the side of this page and on the Home page too! I would love to have you guys give me some reccommendations and I'd also love to just chat with you all! This is a great community but I barely get to speak to many of you, so please don't hesitate to message me on any of my social networks:).

PS. Please oh please ignore this: "Will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyers' TWILIGHT." which appears on the cover of If I Stay. In no way does this book remind me of Twilight, absolutely no way. I don't know what those people were on but consider that suggestion absolute rubbish.

PPS. Before reading this book, be prepared. You will need: boxes(and boxes and boxes) of tissues, a big tub of ice cream, some more tissues, 1 person to vent to and then maybe a couple more tubs of ice cream.
You are welcome.